How Do Expectations About the Macroeconomy Affect Personal Expectations and Behavior?

Research Area: Macroeconomics, Household Finance
Researcher: Christopher Roth,
Johannes Wohlfart
Date: Nov 2018
Abstract:

Policymakers attach an important role to the macroeconomic outlook of households. Using a representative online panel form the U.S., the authors examine how individuals' macroeconomic expectations causally affect their personal economic prospects and their behavior and provide them with different professional forecasts about the likelihood of a recession. The authors find that groups with the largest exposure to aggregate risk, such as individuals working in cyclical industries, are most likely to respond to an improved macroeconomic outlook, while a large fraction of the population is unlikely to react.

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